What Are Citronella Candles Used For: What Experts Say

When we consider candles, most people think of them as a source of lighting and a means of decoration. While citronella candles can perform these functions listed above, they also have another purpose that is entirely unique.

What Are Citronella Candles Used For? In addition to being used for setting the mood, citronella candles are used to repel insects such as mosquitoes and flies. Due to their strong scent, citronella candles make it hard for these insects to detect food.

Based on a 2019 study, citronella candles were discovered to be effective at repelling mosquitoes, even more than other commercial repellants.

What Are The Benefits Of Citronella Candles?

One major benefit of citronella candles is that they can repel insects such as mosquitoes, as effectively as regular repellents. They also serve as a source of lighting and can be used to help set a calm mood.

The fact that citronella-scented candles have a dual benefit is the best aspect of their effect. You may combine the benefits of natural insect repellant with the aesthetics of burning, flickering candles.

The candles often come with a variety of gorgeous holders that can be easily and strategically positioned throughout spaces in your home to create a lovely mood.

For both repellant and lighting purposes, you should be sure to cover the entire space. Don’t be scared to go overboard; the candles have an organic lemon flavor and will still produce a pleasant, fresh scent.

The active component in citronella candles is citronella oil. Drying a grassy plant called Cymbopogon Nardus (citronella grass) yields citronella oil. In contrast to chemical repellents like those found in bug sprays, citronella oil is a natural product.

While citronella might not always kill insects, it effectively repels them. Numerous insects, including mosquitoes, black flies, flies, and ticks, are repelled by citronella oil. Its unusual smell makes it challenging for some insects to find a host.

This explains the constant debate about citronella candles’ effects on insects. In seasons when mosquitoes cause considerable havoc to families hoping for a quiet day away from a busy schedule, citronella oil candles are frequently utilized as garden candles.

Citronella oil has also found use in the personal care industry. Because of its appealing scent, citronella has served as a fragrance for many years in various products.

Candles manufactured from citronella oil are a safe and effective alternative as the oil might not always be safe or effective when applied directly to the skin. The candles enable a tiny amount of the aroma to be breathed in and aid the body, mind, and soul in processing the oil’s natural elements.

What Bugs Does Citronella Repel?

Citronella works as a repellent for many bugs, but the most common are mosquitoes, keeping them off the immediate surrounding. It is the oil derived from the citronella plant that has such an effect. Asides from mosquitoes, the smell of citronella may also be offensive to wasps and bees.

Typical targets of citronella candles are mosquitoes and gnats. They might stop a few cockroaches in the air from buzzing toward the lights, but they won’t likely prevent them from marching into your house.

However, applying citronella oil to cockroach-infested areas may be more effective than using candles. It is great as it is non-toxic and pet safe. Although citronella oil has some mosquito-repelling properties, a candle’s output won’t have much of an impact. Most of the time, a citronella candle will have a citronella concentration of no more than 5%. 

The citronella plant is also great for deterring flies, although it is sensitive to the cold and needs at least six hours of sunlight each day. The majority of insect repellents contain citronella and it works for files in the same way as for other insects. It doesn’t send off flies forever, it simply keeps them from the space where the scent of citronella is present.

Bees and wasps can be also repelled by citronella oil. Candles, citronella oil, or even the whole plant might be used. Wasps and bees should be deterred by placing citronella at strategic locations throughout your home.

This oil is a secure substitute for keeping bees away from your house because it doesn’t harm them in the least. The stench is generally avoided by the bugs and it can spread through quite a distance. You can further use the oil to stop the insects from returning to a particular location where they typically make their nests.

What are Popular Choices For Mosquito Repellent?

OFF RepellentThough of course it’s popular, its consistency is un-deniable. OFF is useful for when there are minor mosquitos or bugs in your area.
REPELUsually repel is more stronger than OFF. it’s typically used when going hiking for example. Its a bit more strong and offers great protection for long walks in a humid environment.

Where Should You Put Citronella Candles?

You should put your citronella candles in strategic areas, particularly in spots with high insect populations. For safety, you can place them outside your home, but in a location where they won’t be affected by rain or wind.

In addition to providing elegance to your yard, citronella candles shield you from insects. This plant extract hides smells from curious insects, preventing them from finding you. Citronella candles are best when used while you’re outside.

With citronella candles outdoors, you can enjoy nature without being concerned about pests. You can conveniently sit by the grill, take a nap in a hammock, lounge on the patio, or go camping.

The size of the candle and the environment where you want to place it are both essential for considering placement. Generally speaking, a candle will burn longer the larger it is. However, a larger candle may not always be more effective against flying insects than a smaller candle.

You may require a long-lasting or bigger candle for larger spaces. Hence, the longer it burns, the more space it can cover and the longer it can keep insects away. Weak flames on smaller candles like tealights and votives are protected by cramped areas, such as an enclosed porch.

Some of these tiny candles can even be used inside; nevertheless, to guarantee safety, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

On the other hand, a deck or patio is in the open, so you will need a candle with superior resistance to the wind outdoors for these areas. This could be a citronella candle in a protective holder or a tin candle. A bucket candle or lantern that can burn for several hours and resist a strong wind is an excellent idea to bring outdoors.

In a heavily mosquito-infested area, citronella candles may be the wrong choice of insecticide. The size of the candle or its placement might not be important if the insects are in very large numbers.

Can You Leave Citronella Candles Outside In The Rain?

Citronella candles cannot stay burning in the rain, hence, it is not alright to leave them out in the rain. Under rainy conditions, you should opt for other repellent options that are better suited for rain.

Your citronella candle will have trouble remaining alight if it’s raining or windy. In such instances, an insect spray with DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or picaridin is preferable.

When using citronella candles, keep in mind that if you only have one or two in an open location, they won’t have much of an impact on insects, especially if there is a windy day.

Citronella candles deter insects by masking smells that insects find attractive. If the wind is continuously renewing the air, the citronella odor won’t be as noticeable in the atmosphere. So, citronella candles perform best in environments with little air movement.

While citronella candles are best for dry days, you can find ways to use them in rainy conditions as long as you can shield them from rain.

The same thing goes with windy days. For you to keep citronella candles outside on a windy day, you should protect them from the wind, ensuring that they remain productive.

Overall, when it is rainy outside, it is best to bring your candles indoors. Although both the wax and the wick might not be damaged by rain, it is better to store them inside for longer burning times.

You might need to take some measures if your citronella candle gets beaten by rain. First, make sure to dry off all of the water from the candle’s body, then trim off the part of the wick that got wet.

This is necessary because a wet candle might not burn as efficiently as a dry one, reducing how effective your citronella candle will be against insects.

Is Citronella Safe To Breathe?

Citronella is safe to breathe, and the effect of inhaling it varies from person to person. For some people, citronella is relaxing, while it is stimulating for others. Except in cases where it is burned and smokey, merely breathing citronella is not dangerous.

Citronella is generally recognized as safe by official health bodies. It is licensed as both an animal repellent and an insect repellent/feeding depressant. As long as you use citronella products properly by sticking to the regulations given by manufacturers, then you should not have any problem with the products.

Citronella oil is an essential oil, and it is often used in humidifiers, spreading it around a particular space that needs the scent. This is only allowed because diluted citronella oil is safe when inhaled.

However, concentrated citronella oil is another matter entirely. Inhaling concentrated citronella oil can irritate mucous membranes and cause lung damage, so it is not safe to breathe it in. Citronella oil also shouldn’t be used by people on medication, such as cancer patients who depend on estrogen.

Undiluted citronella oil is too concentrated and can lead to issues such as an accelerated heart rate. It is always recommended to dilute pure citronella oil with a carrier oil before use.

Citronella can also be very harmful to pets. They are toxic to dogs because they can cause stomach cramping when consumed by creatures drawn to their scent. Citronella candle smoke can cause breathing problems in animals and can affect their lungs.

Generally, chemicals can enter a person’s body through their mouth, nose, skin, or eyes. The most common ways that people are frequently exposed to citronella oil are by inhaling its fumes or by using spray-on insect repellents containing citronella.

If you inhale the spray mist or eat before washing your hands after using a citronella product, you can get affected.

The skin and eyes may experience irritation from citronella oil, especially if it is concentrated. When exposed to citronella repeatedly or over an extended period, some people may also develop skin allergies. People who eat it might get a cough or a sore throat.

How Long Can You Keep Citronella Candles?

The longevity of a citronella candle is 24 months (two years). Even though a citronella candle will not expire, its quality will begin to deteriorate with time because it is made from citronella oil, which is an organic material.

Generally, candles do not go bad, but if they are made of organic components, they will begin to lose quality. For citronella candles, before the wax’s integrity is damaged, this deterioration will first show up as a decrease in scent and color loss. However, as long as there is wax and a wick, a candle will burn.

Candles can be made from a variety of wax kinds, some of which have a longer lifespan. Paraffin is the most popular type of candle wax used in commercial citronella candles. Soy and possibly beeswax are the other two natural waxes you might have in your picnic basket for bothersome mosquitoes.

Paraffin is a petroleum-based wax and it is better than its natural counterparts at holding scents Paraffin is also the most affordable wax and its candles can survive up to five years with proper care.

So, if your citronella candles are made from paraffin, they can last for several years, even if their scent might not be as strong as when you bought them.

To preserve the value of the citronella candle, certain things need to be adhered to. Regardless of their intended purpose, all candles must be kept dry. By itself, the humidity will damage the wax, impair the burning process, and cause the flame to go out too soon.

A damp wick may not even light, and if it does, it won’t be at its best. Keep in mind that storing your candles outside will expose them to excessive moisture in the air in some areas.

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